Alexander the Great
Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty. He was born in Pella in 356 BC and succeeded his father Philip II to the throne at the age of twenty and he was undefeated in battle and is widely considered one of historys most successful military commanders. During his youth, Alexander was tutored by Aristotle until the age of 16, after Philips assassination in 336 BC, he succeeded his father to the throne and inherited a strong kingdom and an experienced army. Alexander was awarded the generalship of Greece and used this authority to launch his fathers Panhellenic project to lead the Greeks in the conquest of Persia, in 334 BC, he invaded the Achaemenid Empire and began a series of campaigns that lasted ten years. Following the conquest of Anatolia, Alexander broke the power of Persia in a series of battles, most notably the battles of Issus. He subsequently overthrew Persian King Darius III and conquered the Achaemenid Empire in its entirety, at that point, his empire stretched from the Adriatic Sea to the Indus River.
He sought to reach the ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea and invaded India in 326 BC and he eventually turned back at the demand of his homesick troops. Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BC, the city that he planned to establish as his capital, without executing a series of planned campaigns that would have begun with an invasion of Arabia. In the years following his death, a series of civil wars tore his empire apart, resulting in the establishment of several states ruled by the Diadochi, Alexanders surviving generals, Alexanders legacy includes the cultural diffusion which his conquests engendered, such as Greco-Buddhism. He founded some twenty cities that bore his name, most notably Alexandria in Egypt, Alexander became legendary as a classical hero in the mold of Achilles, and he features prominently in the history and mythic traditions of both Greek and non-Greek cultures. He became the measure against which military leaders compared themselves, and he is often ranked among the most influential people in human history.
He was the son of the king of Macedon, Philip II, and his wife, Olympias. Although Philip had seven or eight wives, Olympias was his wife for some time. Several legends surround Alexanders birth and childhood, sometime after the wedding, Philip is said to have seen himself, in a dream, securing his wifes womb with a seal engraved with a lions image. Plutarch offered a variety of interpretations of dreams, that Olympias was pregnant before her marriage, indicated by the sealing of her womb. On the day Alexander was born, Philip was preparing a siege on the city of Potidea on the peninsula of Chalcidice. That same day, Philip received news that his general Parmenion had defeated the combined Illyrian and Paeonian armies, and it was said that on this day, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, burnt down. This led Hegesias of Magnesia to say that it had burnt down because Artemis was away, such legends may have emerged when Alexander was king, and possibly at his own instigation, to show that he was superhuman and destined for greatness from conception
Euboea or Evia is the second-largest Greek island in area and population, after Crete. The narrow Euripus Strait separates it from Boeotia in mainland Greece, in general outline it is a long and narrow, seahorse-shaped island, it is about 180 kilometres long, and varies in breadth from 50 kilometres to 6 kilometres. It forms most of the unit of Euboea, which includes Skyros. Its ancient and current name, Εὔβοια, derives from the words εὖ good, the phrase στὸν Εὔριπον to Evripos, rebracketed as στὸ Νεὔριπον to Nevripos, became Negroponte in Italian by folk etymology, the ponte bridge being interpreted as the bridge of Chalcis. That name entered common use in the West in the 13th century, with variants being Egripons, Negripo. Under Ottoman rule, the island and its capital were known as Eğriboz or Ağriboz, Euboea was believed to have originally formed part of the mainland, and to have been separated from it by an earthquake. This is fairly probable, because it lies in the neighbourhood of a fault line, in the neighbourhood of Chalcis, both to the north and the south, the bays are so confined as to make plausible the story of Agamemnons fleet having been detained there by contrary winds.
At Chalcis itself, where the strait is narrowest at only 40 m, the extraordinary changes of tide that take place in this passage have been a subject of note since classical times. At one moment the current runs like a river in one direction, a bridge was first constructed here in the twenty-first year of the Peloponnesian War. Geography and nature divide the island itself into three parts, the fertile and forested north, the mountainous centre, with agriculture limited to the coastal valleys. The main mountains include Dirfi, Pyxaria in the northeast and Ochi, the neighboring gulfs are the Pagasetic Gulf in the north, Malian Gulf, North Euboean Gulf in the west, the Euboic Sea and the Petalion Gulf. At the 2001 census the island had a population of 198,130, the history of the island of Euboea is largely that of its two principal cities and Eretria, both mentioned in the Catalogue of Ships. Both cities were settled by Ionian Greeks from Attica, and would eventually settle numerous colonies in Magna Graecia and Sicily, such as Cumae and Rhegium and this opened new trade routes to the Greeks, and extended the reach of western civilization.
The classicist Barry B. Powell has proposed that Euboea may have been where the Greek alphabet was first employed, 775-750 BC, and that Homer may have spent part of his life on the island. Chalcis and Eretria were rival cities, and appear to have been equally powerful for a while, one of the earliest major military conflicts in Greek history took place between them, known as the Lelantine War, in which many other Greek city-states took part. Following the infamous battles of Thermopylae and Artemisium, Persian forces captured and sacked Athens, and took Euboea, Boeotia, in 490 BC, Eretria was utterly ruined and its inhabitants were transported to Persia. Though it was restored nearby its original site after the Battle of Marathon, both cities gradually lost influence to Athens, which saw Euboea as a strategic territory. Euboea was an important source of grain and cattle, and controlling the island meant Athens could prevent invasion, Athens invaded Chalcis in 506 BC and settled 4,000 Attic Greeks on their lands
The coinage of the Seleucid Empire is based on the coins of Alexander the Great, which in turn were based on Athenian coinage of the Attic weight. Many mints and different issues are defined, with mainly base, the symbol of Seleucid power was the anchor, which was placed on the obverse of coins depicting Alexander posthumously but prior to the issue of coins portraying Seleukos I around 306 BCE. Bronze coinage was issued in five denominations, the weight and size varies greatly and most likely no effort was made to conform to a set standard,1 Obol and Bow and Quiver. 2 Diobol and Quiver 3 Hemidrachm,6 Drachm, Anchor 24 Tetradrachm, Elephant walking Coins with the head of Zeus on the reverse and these coins are of a lighter Phoenician standard, which were circulated in India prior to Alexander the Greats conquest. Starting from Seleukos I, these mints were most likely a continuation from before his reign, Ecbatana, Apamaea mint, Babylon, Aï Khanoum, Seleucia in Pieria, Bactria, Cyzicus, Abydus.
Coins of the Selucid Empire had many images including the King with a head dress, or Zeus on a throne with a sceptre. Bronze coins usually didnt feature the Kings image, and usually had a god or goddess or in some cases a charging bull, under Seleukos I Nicator, the first Selucid king, the coinage varieties are similar to Alexander the Greats with the kings head wearing a lion skin. After 300 BCE the head of this King is portrayed in a style to other Greek coinage. Obverses 1, Seleucos or Dionysos in helmet covered with a panther skin & adorned with bulls ears & horns,2, Head of Herakles wearing lions skin headdress. 3, Head of Apollo facing right 4, Young Heracles,5, A naked male figure seated facing left on a rock, holding an ankh in his right hand. 6, Dioskouros 7, Athena wearing an Attic helmet,8, Winged head of Medusa facing right. Reverses 1, Zeus enthroned left, holding eagle and sceptre 2, Athena advancing right, brandishing a spear & holding a shield 3, on bronze coins 4, Athena over elephant.
5, Boeotian shield between Nike & trophy 6, Forepart of a horse facing right with an anchor above. Antiochus I Soter Coins Designs are much the same as the ruler, in featuring the many Greek gods and the Kings head. Syria The Seleucid Kings SELEUCID KINGDOM - COINS Seleucos I Antiochos 1 Zeno. ru
The Diadochi were the rival generals and friends of Alexander the Great who fought for control over his empire after his death in 323 BC. The Wars of the Diadochi mark the beginning of the Hellenistic period, an army on campaign changes its leadership at any level frequently for replacement of casualties and distribution of talent to the current operations. The institution of the Hetairoi gave the Macedonian army a flexible capability in this regard, there were no fixed ranks of Hetairoi, except as the term meant a special unit of cavalry. The Hetairoi were simply a pool of de facto general officers, without any or with changing de jure rank. They were typically from the nobility, many related to Alexander, a parallel flexible structure in the Persian army facilitated combined units. Staff meetings to adjust command structure were nearly a daily event in Alexanders army and they created an ongoing expectation among the Hetairoi of receiving an important and powerful command, if only for a short term.
At the moment of Alexanders death, all possibilities were suddenly suspended, the Hetairoi vanished with Alexander, to be replaced instantaneously by the Diadochi, men who knew where they had stood, but not where they would stand now. As there had no definite ranks or positions of Hetairoi. They expected appointments, but without Alexander they would have to make their own, for purposes of this presentation, the Diadochi are grouped by their rank and social standing at the time of Alexanders death. These were their initial positions as Diadochi and they are not necessarily significant or determinative of what happened next. In Hellenistic times the title Diadoch was actually the lowest in a system of official rank titles and it was first used in the 19th century to denote the immediate successors of Alexander. Craterus was an infantry and naval commander under Alexander during his conquest of Persia, after the revolt of his army at Opis on the Tigris River in 324, Alexander ordered Craterus to command the veterans as they returned home to Macedonia.
When Craeterus arrived at Cilicia in 323 BC, news reached him of Alexanders death, though his distance from Babylon prevented him from participating in the distribution of power, Craterus hastened to Macedonia to assume the protection of Alexanders family. The news of Alexanders death caused the Greeks to rebel in the Lamian War and Antipater defeated the rebellion in 322 BC. Despite his absence, the gathered at Babylon confirmed Craterus as Guardian of the Royal Family. However, with the family in Babylon, the Regent Perdiccas assumed this responsibility until the royal household could return to Macedonia. Antipater was an adviser to King Philip II, Alexanders father, when Alexander left Macedon to conquer Persia in 334 BC, Antipater was named Regent of Macedon and General of Greece in Alexanders absence. In 323 BC, Craterus was ordered by Alexander to march his veterans back to Macedon, Alexanders death that year, prevented the order from being carried out
The lepton, plural lepta is the name of various fractional units of currency used in the Greek-speaking world from antiquity until today. The word means small or thin, and during Classical and Hellenistic times a lepton was always a small value coin, in the Hasmonean Kingdom the lepton was first minted under Alexander Jannaeus prior to 76 B. C. E. In modern Greece, lepton is the name of the 1/100 denomination of all the currencies of the Greek state, the phoenix, the drachma. Its unofficial currency sign is Λ, since the late 1870s, and until the introduction of the euro in 2001, no Greek coin had been minted with a denomination lower than 5 lepta
The obol was a form of ancient Greek currency and weight. Obols were used from early times, according to Plutarch they were originally spits of copper or bronze traded by weight, while six obols make a drachma or a handful, since that was as many as the hand could grasp. Heraklides of Pontus in his work on Etymologies mentions the obols of Heraion and this is confirmed by the historian Ephorus on his work On Inventions. Excavations at Argos discovered several dozen of these early obols, dated well before 800 BC, Plutarch states the Spartans had an iron obol of four coppers. They retained the cumbersome and impractical bars rather than proper coins to discourage the pursuit of wealth, in Classical Athens, obols were traded as silver coins. Six obols made up the drachma, there were coins worth two obols and three obols. Each obol was divisible into eight coppers, during this era, an obol purchased a kantharos and chous of wine. Three obols was a rate for prostitutes. Legend had it that those without wealth or whose friends refused to follow proper burial rites were forced to wander the banks of the river for one hundred years.
The obol or obolus was a measurement of Greek, Roman, in ancient Greece, it was generally reckoned as 1⁄6 drachma. Under Roman rule, it was defined as 1⁄48 of a Roman ounce or about 0.57 grams, the apothecaries system reckoned the obol or obolus as 1⁄48 ounce or 1⁄2 scruple. The obolus, along with the mirror, was a symbol of new schismatic heretics in the short story The Theologians by Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges. The currency of the United States of the Ionian Islands was called the Obol The British halfpenny, known as the obol Obelisks. I of the Loeb Classical Library edition,1914 Plutarch, Lycurgus,9 A History of Measures The Use of Obeliskoi How we came to know about the iron obols, the antecedents of the drachma
The stater was an ancient coin used in various regions of Greece. The term is used for similar coins, imitating Greek staters. The stater, as a Greek silver currency, first as ingots, the earliest known stamped stater is an electrum turtle coin, struck at Aegina that dates to about 700 BC. It is on display at the Bibliothèque Nationale of Paris, the silver stater minted at Corinth of 8.6 grams weight was divided into three silver drachmas of 2.9 grams, but was often linked to the Athenian silver didrachm coin weighing 8.6 grams. In comparison, the Athenian silver tetradrachm was weighing 17.2 grams. There existed a gold stater, but it was minted in some places, and was mainly an accounting unit worth 20–28 drachmas depending on place and time. The use of gold staters in coinage seems mostly of Macedonian origin, the best known types of Greek gold staters are the 28 drachmas Kyzikenos from Cyzicus. Celtic tribes brought the concept to Western and Central Europe after obtaining it while serving as mercenaries in north Greece.
Gold staters were minted in Gaul by Gallic chiefs modeled after those of Philip II of Macedonia, some of these staters in the form of the Gallo-Belgic series were imported to Britain on a large scale. These went on to influence a range of staters produced in Britain, british Gold staters generally weighed between 6.5 and 4.5 grams. Celtic staters were minted in present-day Czech Republic and Poland. The conquests of Alexander extended Greek culture east, leading to the adoption of staters in Asia, Gold staters have been found from the ancient region of Gandhara from the time of Kanishka
The cistophorus was a coin of ancient Pergamum. It was introduced sometime in the years 175-160 BC at that city to provide the Attalid kingdom with a substitute for Seleucid coins and it was used by a number of other cities that were under Attalid control. It continued to be minted and circulated down to the time of Hadrian and it owes its name to a figure, on the obverse, of the sacred chest of Dionysus. It was tariffed at four drachmas, but weighed only as much as three Attic drachmas,12.75 grams, in addition, the evidence of hoards suggests that it did not travel outside the area which Pergamum controlled. It is therefore suspected that it was overvalued in this area, article in Smiths Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities
Tyche was the presiding tutelary deity that governed the fortune and prosperity of a city, its destiny. She is the daughter of Aphrodite and Zeus or Hermes, in literature, she might be given various genealogies, as a daughter of Hermes and Aphrodite, or considered as one of the Oceanids, daughters of Oceanus and Tethys, or of Zeus. She was connected with Nemesis and Agathos Daimon, increasingly during the Hellenistic period, cities venerated their own specific iconic version of Tyche, wearing a mural crown. Tyche had temples at Caesarea Maritima, Antioch and Constantinople, in Alexandria the Tychaeon, the temple of Tyche, was described by Libanius as one of the most magnificent of the entire Hellenistic world. She was uniquely venerated at Itanos in Crete, as Tyche Protogeneia, linked with the Athenian Protogeneia, daughter of Erechtheus, Tyche appears on many coins of the Hellenistic period in the three centuries before the Christian era, especially from cities in the Aegean. Unpredictable turns of fortune drive the complicated plotlines of Hellenistic romances, such as Leucippe and Clitophon or Daphnis, the effectiveness of her capricious power even achieved respectability in philosophical circles during that generation, though among poets it was a commonplace to revile her for a fickle harlot.
In medieval art, she was depicted as carrying a cornucopia, a ships rudder. The constellation of Virgo is sometimes identified as the figure of Tyche, as well as other goddesses such as Demeter. Tyche of Constantinople Media related to Tyche at Wikimedia Commons
It is often considered a period of transition, sometimes even of decadence or degeneration, compared to the enlightenment of the Greek Classical era. The Hellenistic period saw the rise of New Comedy, Alexandrian poetry, the Septuagint, Greek science was advanced by the works of the mathematician Euclid and the polymath Archimedes. The religious sphere expanded to include new gods such as the Greco-Egyptian Serapis, eastern deities such as Attis and Cybele, the Hellenistic period was characterized by a new wave of Greek colonization which established Greek cities and kingdoms in Asia and Africa. This resulted in the export of Greek culture and language to new realms. Equally, these new kingdoms were influenced by the cultures, adopting local practices where beneficial, necessary. Hellenistic culture thus represents a fusion of the Ancient Greek world with that of the Near East, Middle East and this mixture gave rise to a common Attic-based Greek dialect, known as Koine Greek, which became the lingua franca through the Hellenistic world.
Scholars and historians are divided as to what event signals the end of the Hellenistic era, Hellenistic is distinguished from Hellenic in that the first encompasses the entire sphere of direct ancient Greek influence, while the latter refers to Greece itself. The word originated from the German term hellenistisch, from Ancient Greek Ἑλληνιστής, from Ἑλλάς, Hellenistic is a modern word and a 19th-century concept, the idea of a Hellenistic period did not exist in Ancient Greece. Although words related in form or meaning, e. g, the major issue with the term Hellenistic lies in its convenience, as the spread of Greek culture was not the generalized phenomenon that the term implies. Some areas of the world were more affected by Greek influences than others. The Greek population and the population did not always mix, the Greeks moved and brought their own culture. While a few fragments exist, there is no surviving historical work which dates to the hundred years following Alexanders death. The works of the major Hellenistic historians Hieronymus of Cardia, Duris of Samos, the earliest and most credible surviving source for the Hellenistic period is Polybius of Megalopolis, a statesman of the Achaean League until 168 BC when he was forced to go to Rome as a hostage.
His Histories eventually grew to a length of forty books, covering the years 220 to 167 BC, another important source, Plutarchs Parallel Lives though more preoccupied with issues of personal character and morality, outlines the history of important Hellenistic figures. Appian of Alexandria wrote a history of the Roman empire that includes information of some Hellenistic kingdoms, other sources include Justins epitome of Pompeius Trogus Historiae Philipicae and a summary of Arrians Events after Alexander, by Photios I of Constantinople. Lesser supplementary sources include Curtius Rufus, Pliny, in the field of philosophy, Diogenes Laertius Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers is the main source. Ancient Greece had traditionally been a collection of fiercely independent city-states. After the Peloponnesian War, Greece had fallen under a Spartan hegemony, in which Sparta was pre-eminent but not all-powerful
The main functions of money are distinguished as, a medium of exchange, a unit of account, a store of value, sometimes, a standard of deferred payment. Any item or verifiable record that fulfills these functions can be considered as money, Money is historically an emergent market phenomenon establishing a commodity money, but nearly all contemporary money systems are based on fiat money. Fiat money, like any check or note of debt, is without use value as a physical commodity. It derives its value by being declared by a government to be legal tender, the money supply of a country consists of currency and, depending on the particular definition used, one or more types of bank money. Bank money, which consists only of records, forms by far the largest part of money in developed countries. The word money is believed to originate from a temple of Juno, in the ancient world Juno was often associated with money. The temple of Juno Moneta at Rome was the place where the mint of Ancient Rome was located, the name Juno may derive from the Etruscan goddess Uni and Moneta either from the Latin word monere or the Greek word moneres.
In the Western world, a prevalent term for coin-money has been specie, stemming from Latin in specie, meaning in kind. The use of methods may date back to at least 100,000 years ago. Instead, non-monetary societies operated largely along the principles of gift economy, when barter did in fact occur, it was usually between either complete strangers or potential enemies. Many cultures around the world eventually developed the use of commodity money, the Mesopotamian shekel was a unit of weight, and relied on the mass of something like 160 grains of barley. The first usage of the came from Mesopotamia circa 3000 BC. Societies in the Americas, Asia and Australia used shell money – often, according to Herodotus, the Lydians were the first people to introduce the use of gold and silver coins. It is thought by scholars that these first stamped coins were minted around 650–600 BC. The system of commodity money eventually evolved into a system of representative money and this occurred because gold and silver merchants or banks would issue receipts to their depositors – redeemable for the commodity money deposited.
Eventually, these became generally accepted as a means of payment and were used as money. Paper money or banknotes were first used in China during the Song Dynasty and these banknotes, known as jiaozi, evolved from promissory notes that had been used since the 7th century. However, they did not displace commodity money, and were used alongside coins, in the 13th century, paper money became known in Europe through the accounts of travelers, such as Marco Polo and William of Rubruck